Friday, 14 March 2014

FREE memberships cards that you really should have

I think I may be a naturally cynical person - if something is offered to me for free and gives me value for nothing then I wonder what the catch is.  In fact, I almost didn't sign up for my employee share plan because I thought there must be a catch...surely my employer wasn't giving me cash for free!

As it turns out though there are some things which are for free to you but which gives non monetary benefits to the organisations which offer them.  Some organisations extract value from a "loyalty" type scheme - i.e. if they can convince you that the "free" loyalty points you are earning with them are valuable enough then you will continue to use them even though there may occasionally be a cheaper alternative.  Others get value from know what types of products each of their consumers like to buy.

As long as you can remain objective, there are a whole host of free membership and rewards cards that you probably should have...

This is not a complete list by any means.  In fact if you know of other great deals share them below and I can add them to the list. But these are some of the basic free (or very cheap) cards that you should probably have (as an Australian consumer).

  • Woolworths Everyday Rewards Card: I have reviewed this card before here.  It costs you nothing, allows you to keep your fuel dockets on one card and can be linked to your Qantas Frequent Flyer Card to give you points when you shop.
  • Flybuys Card: Like the Woolworths card, this is the one for Coles shopping centres.  Again it costs you nothing and you can redeem the points for various rewards programs. Although it takes you ages to actually get anything it costs you nothing except a slot in your wallet
  • Movie Rewards Cards: I have posted about these before but they are remarkably good - it is effectively free because although you pay a membership fee each year - you get one free ticket for effectively half the cost of the ticket and then cheap movies all year round
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer: Although it looks like this card costs you ~$80 to sign up there are so many ways to actually get it for free that I don't know if anyone actually pays fee.  I got it free when I signed up for the free Woolworths Everyday Rewards Card (above).  If you fly a fair bit then this is a no brainer.  I never seem to fly enough to get a decent status but I have built up enough points over time to save some serious money on flights.
  • Virgin's Velocity Flyer: Like the Frequent Flyer you get points over time and it is completely free to sign up.  Don't forget you can use it on partner airlines as well such as Air New Zealand
The key with these cards is not to fall into the trap of being 'loyal' to one company.  It is almost always more financially sensible to save money on each transaction rather than trying to build up points or credits.  

If you have more cards that are free and offer you great value then post them below - I'd love to learn about some more!

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  1. Not too sure the Qantas one would be a program I'd be joining right now ha (not too sure they should be bailed out)..

    The movie rewards cards are great though..

    Good post :)

    1. I figure most people fly Qantas at some point or another and as it doesn't cost you anything to join the program it's free rewards (assuming of course they last that long).

      I just realised the disadvantage of signing up for too many programs - they all give you a card and I'm having to develop a system for them...